A really tiny sidewalk patio has become a little less tiny. It’s Tini.
Improving Tini on the Avenue’s sidewalk patio has been an adventurous romp with historic district guardians and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc., with the intent to make this popular outdoor space more inviting, friendlier to passing pedestrians and with a bit more presence on the Avenue and on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, a legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick.
The original Tini patio occupied some leftover right-of-way space at the junction of the Cultural Trail with the unnamed alley that houses the Chatham Passage olfactory art installation. The intention was to activate that space as a point of interest along the trail, part of the now wildly successful intention of the trail to generate economic development along its corridors.
It soon became clear that the patio activated that spot almost too successfully. Working with the Indianapolis Cultural Ttrail, Inc., the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission and residential neighbors, an enlarged, but more contained patio, was developed to upgrade a minimal experiment into a streetscape enhancement and a waymark along the trail.
The new patio is constructed as a low deck that skims over an enlarged irrigated planting area intended to sustain the thriving columnar maple street tree. It is surrounded by lushly filled planter boxes that create a distinct social space that acoustically dampens patio dwellers’ exuberance. It also buffers the space and the adjacent sidewalk from Mass Ave traffic noise. The new design was intended to visually complement by contrast, as a clean modernist expression, the remarkable historic buildings along this avenue segment.
Approaching midsummer 2018, the Tini patio is undergoing a soft reopening pending arrival of new stools and tables.
Tini Patio is a demonstration of a property and business owner’s active interest and investment in the public space of the city, and of the city understanding and promoting such a partnership. It also reminds us that while we love working on really big plans and projects, we also get excited by the teeny projects that populate and activate the city. Smock Fansler Corporation skillfully installed the patio in record time to minimize sidewalk disruption, and to get back to their really big work .